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5 Questions About Dental Spacers

Are you looking into having braces installed to correct the alignment of your teeth, but your orthodontist is saying that you need to use spaces? If so, here is what you need to know about this part of the orthodontic procedure.

What Are Spacers?

It's possible that your orthodontist will need to make room for the brackets to be placed on your teeth. In order to do this, spacers will need to be placed between your teeth. A spacer is a small elastic band or a piece of thin metal that goes between your teeth, and at first it will feel like a popcorn kernel that is stuck between your teeth. However, it will move your teeth just enough so that a metal band can be placed on the tooth for the installation of the braces. 

Are Dental Spacers Big?

The actual spacer material is not that thick at all. It only needs to be about the thickness of the metal band that will be placed around your teeth, and about the size of a thin elastic rubber band. You may be surprised at how small the spacers actually are.

How Are Dental Spacers Placed?

Elastic spacers can be placed in your mouth very quickly by your orthodontist. The orthodontist will likely thread the elastic band through some dental floss, and use that to wedge the elastic between your teeth. 

Why Do Spacers Feel Uncomfortable? 

Spacers are one of the first things that are used to move your teeth into the proper position. This can lead to some pain and discomfort at first as your teeth are literally moving. However, the discomfort will eventually go away as your teeth adjust to the spacers and are in the correct position. 

How Long Do You Wear Spacers For?

Thankfully, the process of wearing spacers will only take a couple of days. The teeth only need to move enough for that metal band to slip around the teeth. However, it is possible for the spacers to come out if you are not careful, which will increase how long you need to wear them. Some tips that will help the spacers stay in place is to avoid sticky foods and avoid picking at the spacers with your fingers or dental floss.

Your orthodontist may give you directions about how to place the spacer back between your teeth if they do fall out. If they fall out, you may also need to return to the orthodontist to have them replace the spacers. 

For more information on orthodontic treatment, contact a local orthodontist.